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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities and Conferences

newspapersWelcome to today’s bonus post of writing opps and conferences collected just for you!

First up, direct links to writing opportunities could be your ticket to publication! Be sure to follow guidelines carefully and send in your best work!

1.  Haiku Journal

2.  Naval History Magazine

3.  Adventist Review

4.  ADDitude Magazine for ADHD and LD

5.  Bible Advocate

6.  The Cattleman

7.  Insight magazine for teens

8.  Internet Genealogy

9.  North Carolina Literary Review

10. New Mobility

11. Outreach Magazine

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

12. Snowshoe Magazine

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And now let’s check out upcoming conferences!

1.  St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 24-28, 2015, Grove City, PA

2. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 25-27, 2015, Elizabethtown, KY

3. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

4. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall5. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

6. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

7. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

8. Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

9. Next Step Writers Contreat: November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

10. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

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List of #writing opportunities & conferences just for you! @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for this month’s writing opportunities and conferences. I hope they help you on your writing journey!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Who Won Mary Allen’s Book?

newspapersWelcome to The Christian Writer’s Den! Today is the 3rd Tuesday, so there’s lots of good stuff to cover. Let’s start with a list of writing opportunities collected just for you!

1.  Penned from the Heart, a 366 day compilation of poems and devotions is looking for submissions for the 2016 edition. Writer’s guidelines can be found at www.marilynnutter.com.

2.  A+ Playwriting Contest for Teachers.

3.  The Mighty Newsletter is looking for articles that highlight the strength, joy, and beauty in disability and disease by featuring real life experiences and perspectives from people just like us.

4.  Since I’m working hard and having fun at Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference this week, I’ll share this HUGE list I just found of Book Editors and Book Publishers: Christian, Religious, Inspirational, New Thought, and Spiritual Books. Please note: Do not assume all are Christian. Be sure to read and follow guidelines carefully!

Okay, so with that longgggggg list of writing opps, you should have plenty to keep you busy. Don’t forget to let us know if you have good news from these efforts. We’d love to celebrate with you!

Photo courtesy of Mary Denman

BRMCWC photo courtesy of Mary Denman

 

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Conference season is going strong! Where will you learn this year?

1. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’m here now–come on and join me!)

2. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

3. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

4. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 24-28, 2015, Grove City, PA

5. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 25-27, 2015, Elizabethtown, KY

6. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

7. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall8. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

9. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

10. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

11. Next Step Writers Contreat: November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

12. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mary Allen Cover-reduced

And who won Mary Allen’s book, Crying in the Morgue, Laughing in the Dark?

The winner is:

Shirley Buxton!

Congratulations, Shirley! To receive your free book, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Mary will get the book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Crying in the Morgue, Laughing in the Dark.

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Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headlines Tuesday. I can’t wait to hear of your successes that come from going to a conference and then submitting your work. After all, that’s what real writers do!

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A new list of writing opportunities & conferences at Christian Writers Den @Vonda Skelton #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences Just for You, and Who Won Donn Taylor’s Book?

Dollar sign morguefileIt’s the 3rd Tuesday, and time to offer writing opportunities, collected just for you!

Be sure to follow all guidelines carefully and then let us know if it leads to success. We’d love to celebrate with you!

1.  Writer Beware Blog, a publishing industry watchdog group, is looking for guest bloggers. Check out the Writer Beware Guest Blogger Guidelines here.

2.  Back to College is a news and information resource for adult re-entry students pursuing professional development or an advanced degree.

3.  The Atlanta Tribune Magazine–Black Atlanta’s No. 1 resource for information on business and the business lifestyle. Atlanta Tribune’s writer’s guidelines here.

4.  Diabetes Self-Management–Brings you the information you need to control your diabetes and improve your health. Diabetes Self-Management writer’s guidelines here.

5.  HILLERMAN MYSTERY SHORT STORY CONTEST--Submission deadline June 1, 2015. Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press and WORDHARVEST, the Tony Hillerman Prize is awarded annually for the best first mystery set in the Southwest.

6.  Greeting Card guidelines:

7.  ADOPTIVE FAMILIES–Adoptive Families is the leading information resource for families before, during, and after adoption. The award-winning national bimonthly magazine provides independent, authoritative adoption information in an accessible and reader-friendly format. Adoptive Families Writer’s Guidelines here.

8.  EARLY AMERICAN LIFE–Since 1970 Early American Life has been the source for information on early American style, decorating, and traditions. In addition, we cover both antiques and reproductions made by crafters working in period styles with traditional tools. We do it with our own style–we aim to entertain as well as educate. We also feature stories on gardening with a focus on early America. A one-page story in Early American Life, such as Worth Seeing, runs about 750 words. A typical feature may run 2,500 words. We would estimate $500 for a first feature from a new writer, more if you are an experienced, skillful writer. If we assign a story to you, we will negotiate the rate before you begin work.

9.  Catholic Digest writer’s guidelines

10. GEMINI FLASH FICTION CONTEST–Deadline March 31, 2015. ENTRY FEE $5. Grand prize: $1,000. Both new and established writers are welcome.

11. Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and BelieversTrust Announce “Beyond the Steeple Award”

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Writing opportunities, contests, & conferences from @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtip (Click to Tweet)

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Next up: Conferences to help you grow as a writer and/or speaker

Conference Room fdp Pixomar
1.  Weekend with the Writers: March 20-21, 2015, Greenville, SC

2.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

3.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC

4.  Orange County Christian Writers ConferenceApril 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

5.  Writing Success XXIV: April 25, 2015, Stoneboro, PA

6.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO

7.  Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

8.  Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll be there and would love to see you there!)

9.  Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

10. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

11. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 24-28, 2015, Grove City, PA

12. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 25-27, 2015, Elizabethtown, KY

13. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

14. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

15. Christian Communicators Conference: Registration opened March 1st and we only have two spots left! Scholarships available, deadline April 1. (I would love to see you there!)

16. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

17. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lightning Cover - 300dpi

And who won Donn Taylor’s new book, Lightning on a Quiet Night?

According to Random.org, the winner is…

Tammy Whitehurst!

Congratulations, Tammy. All you need to do it contact me with your snail mail address and Donn will send his book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s a direct Amazon link to Donn Taylor’s Lightning on a Quiet Night.

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Well, I think that does it for another episode of Writing Opps, Contests, and Conferences. I hope it helps you find success on your writing and speaking journey!

Write on!

Vonda

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CC Registration Opened March 1 & We’re Already Half Full, Call-Outs & Book Winner

christian-communicators-promo-cove-2015Registration is Now Open for The Christian Communicators Conference for Speakers–And We’re Filling Up Fast!

Ladies, if you feel called to speak, you don’t want to miss the Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Carolyn Knefely and I would love to see you there!

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more…

By limiting the conference to about 30 ladies, you receive more!

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women . . . but you’ll be embraced by thirty who will become lifelong friends
  • You won’t experience long lines for dinner . . . but you’ll have long conversations over dessert
  • You won’t need change for vending machines . . . but shared stories at afternoon tea can change your life

Come and learn in a small, intimate setting . . .
then go out and change a great big world

Check out the Christian Communicators Conference registration details here. But don’t delay, with only 30 spots, we fill up quickly!

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Christian Communicators #Speaking #Training is filling up fast! Aug 26-30. $ help deadline April 1. http://bit.ly/1EGCqxl (Click to Tweet)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~celebration - Morguefile

Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on You!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!

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mogo7000 logoCall for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in February, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your February results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in February. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2015 challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 11 months and you’ll have 11 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent.

Thanks for Tweeting!

Writing a book? You could win $100 in the MoGo7000 Writing Challenge! @VondaSkelton Christian Writer’s Den #amwriting http://bit.ly/18Hw6cJ (Click to Tweet)

Cynthia Simmons WWO cover

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And Who Won Cynthia Simmons’ Book?

According to Random.org, the winner is…

Judith Robl!

Congratulations, Judith! All you need to do is contact me with your mailing address and Cynthia will get her book right out to you!

And I know there are lots of you out there who also want to read Cynthia’s book, so here is a direct Amazon link to Cynthia Simmons’ Women Who Overcame.

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Thank you for joining me for a new month at The Christian Writer’s Den. I appreciate you and your friendship as we strive to write words others need to read and hear.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Welcome to 2015: Pie In the Sky Dreams or Real Goals?

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, can you believe it’s 2015 already?

It seems only a few years ago that we teens of the 60s were dancing to the lyrics of Zager and Evans’ futuristic, pie-in-the-sky song, In the Year 2525. When it released in 1969, it was pure sci-fi, frequently assumed to be the result of a drug-induced bad trip.

But today, as I read their prophetic words of babies coming from test tubes, mind-altering drugs, and technology ruling our lives, I realize the song carried more truth than we ever thought possible. And way ahead of schedule.

But this post isn’t created to generate a discussion about the 60s or the prophetic reality of Evans’ lyrics. Instead, my goal is for us to face the truth and determine our response to this question: Will we look forward to the future with a pie in the sky attitude, dreaming big, then sitting back in our office chairs to watch them come to fruition? Will we make a plan and then whine when things don’t go as planned? Or will we do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed to see those goals accomplished?

Unmet Goals

I have to admit, for the past few years I’ve backed down from some of my goals. I’ve run into conflicts of time, opportunity, and responsibilities…and sulked in the corner of defeat. I’ve tried and failed and given up, always eager to point to the reasons I didn’t reach that goal–again.

But this year is different. Oh, I still have many responsibilities beyond writing and speaking–responsibilities beyond my control–but this time I’m committed to doing the work, putting in the hours, and taking the training needed to see those goals through. Please understand, that doesn’t mean I’m determining the outcome. After all, only God is in control. But this year, instead of giving up because my schedule was interrupted–again–I’m committing to simply picking up where I left off and moving forward, in whatever time frame God allows.

I’m accepting the fact that I can’t make anything happen. He’s the One in control of day. I’m only in control of my response to it.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 NIV

So, would you join me? Would you stand beside me, raise your right hand, announce your goals, and then say, “I’ll do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed…and then trust His will for my life.”

Lord willing, we will write that book, get that agent, finish that article, and see our goals achieved. But know this: Publication is not the be-all and end-all of writing. It’s only one of the MANY ways God can use us and our words for His glory.

 

 

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps & Conferences for You & Who Won Cheryl Ricker’s Book?

newspapersIt’s our 3rd Tuesday, so it’s time to look at writing opportunities. This could be your door to publication!

 

1.  Better Homes and Gardens writers guidelines

2.  ADDitude Magazine writers guidelines

3.  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine writers guidelines

4.  Alive Now writers guidelines and theme list – Scroll down on right side for theme list and due dates

5.  American Girl writers guidelines

6.  Chicken Soup for the Soul possible book titles – Check out the latest story needs

7.  Asimov’s Science Fiction writers guidelines

8.  CampSite writers guidelines

9.  The Christian Century writers guidelines

10. Enrichment Journal writers guidelines

11. Parents Magazine writer’s guidelines

12. The Lutheran writers guidelines

13. Short Stories for a Fiction-Lover’s Devotional by Kathy Ide – Fiction-Lover’s Devotional Guidelines here

14. Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a regional print publication dedicated to proclaiming the life and work of Jesus Christ in and through ordinary people, is open to article submissions. We publish teaching pieces (800- 1,250 words), reflection pieces (500-800 words), and informational pieces on subjects related to the Christian life (health, sports, family, marriage, singleness, church membership, nutrition, etc., 800-1,250 words). We’re especially interested in subjects of interest to men. We are also open to 2-3 part series of articles if the subject can support it. ROC is not a paying market, but a print publishing credit looks great on your resume. Keep in mind that seasonal pieces must be submitted a minimum of three months prior to the month of publication. Please visit Reach Out Columbia for article submission guidelines (www.ReachOutColumbia.com)

15. Shine Brightly Magazine for Girls writers guidelines

Okay, writing friends, what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to hear of your successes!

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Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you serious about writing and speaking? If so, you’ll be serious about attending conferences. 

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

2.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 25-March 1, 2015, Leesburg, FL

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in March: Various locations and dates

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll see you there!)

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-14, 2015, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

7.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll see you there!)

8.  Orange County Christian Writers ConferenceApril 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

9.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO (watch for details coming soon)

10. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

11. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

12. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

13. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

14. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

15. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cheryl Ricker cover Rush of Heaven

And who won Cheryl Ricker’s book, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus?

According to Random.org, this week’s winner is Lynn A. Davidson! Congratulations, Lynn. To receive your free copy of Rush of Heaven, simply contact me with your mailing address and we’ll get it right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Rush of Heaven. You know you don’t want to miss this one!

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Thank you, dear friends, for another great Opps Tuesday at the Christian Writer’s Den. Be sure to come back next week for a learning experience from another great author!

Write on!

Vonda

 

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Christian Communicators’ Save the Date!

newspapersHappy 3rd Tuesday to you, dear friends! Let’s start with a list of writing opportunities and contests selected just for you!

1.  CBH Ministries Keys for Kids teaches children about God’s love and His Word. Keys for Kids Writer’s Guidelines here.

2.  Catholic Sentinel looking for Oregon-focused articles of interest to local Catholics.

3.  Creation Illustrated is the “leading Bible-based nature journal” and is looking for writers and photographers. Creation Illustrated Submission Guidelines here.

4.  Escapees Magazine is looking for articles of interest to RVers who live the RV lifestyle. Escapees Magazine writing guidelines here.

5.  Eldridge Plays and Musicals submission guidelines 

6.  Writers Weekly.com wants articles on how to make money writing. Do not send “how to write” articles. Writers Weekend guidelines here.

7.  Bead&Button Magazine is a bimonthly magazine devoted to techniques, projects, and designs of beaded jewelry and accessories. Bead&Button Submission Guidelines here.

8.  Woman’s Day magazine accepts articles from very experienced writers. Woman’s Day writer’s guidelines here.

9.  Guide Magazine: Guide is a Christian story magazine for young people ages 10-14. The 32-page, four-color publication is published weekly by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. Our mission is to show readers, through stories that illustrate Bible truth, how to walk with God now and forever. Guide Magazine Writer’s Guidelines here.

10. Shotgun Sports magazine writers must have first hand knowledge of hunting, trapshooting, or collecting or repairing guns

11. The Kids’ Ark is always looking for great stories for kids. The Kids’ Ark is a quarterly children’s Christian magazine full of the truth about God’s love. There are many questions kids have growing up: Who am I? Am I loved? Am I worthy? Am I valuable? Think of all the pain that could be avoided in a lifetime if a child knew the answers to these questions at an early age. The Kids’ Ark Writer’s Guidelines here.

12. Small Farm Today magazine is dedicated to preserving and promoting small farming, rural living, community and agripreneurship. Writing guidelines here.

13. Highlights for Children is a general-interest, advertising-free magazine for children up to age twelve. It was founded in 1946 by Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, and is still owned and run by their family. The magazine has no religious or organizational affiliation. Highlights has a circulation of about two million and is published monthly. Highlights Writer’s Guidelines here.

14. Lerner Publishing Group works with many talented authors and illustrators to create its books for children and young adults. Lerner Books Submission Guidelines here.

15. Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. Deadline October 31, 2014.

16. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest. Deadline December 15, 2014.

And these two opportunities were submitted by our friend and CCC grad, artist and speaker Cyn Rogalski. Thanks, Cyn!

17. Christian Media Magazine guidelines

18. Moms Magazine submission guidelines

Well, that should keep you busy for a while. Don’t forget to share this with your writing friends!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vonda teaching at Writers Boot Camp

 And here are some conferences for writers and speakers. I hope to see you at some of them!

1.  CLASS Christian Writers Conference: October 23-25, 2014, Albuquerque, NM

2.  South Carolina Writers’ Workshop: October 24-26, 2014, Myrtle Beach, SC

3.  Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network Conference: November 6-8, 2014, Overland Park, KS

4.  Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

5.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 25-March 1, 2015, Leesburg, FL

6.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll see you there!)

7.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll see you there!)

8. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

9. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

Okay, friends, I can’t wait to see the successes that come from your responses to these lists!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Sarah Meece and Who Won the Free Writing Workshop?

Sarah Meece headshotI’m excited to introduce my friend, Sarah Meece, to all my Christian Writer’s Den friends! I met Sarah several years ago at a writers conference and was amazed at her story. But when Sarah attended the Christian Communicators Conference, I was privileged to see what an incredible and talented lady she is. Then, when I read her manuscript for A Dose of Hope, I knew I wanted to bring her to you!

Readers, be sure to leave a comment for Sarah and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to come back next week and see if you’re the winner!

Welcome, Sarah. I’m so glad you’re here! Let’s start with an easy question. Was being an author a life-long dream?  

Absolutely not! For 29 years, I had been an educator at the secondary level. I loved high school students, and I was one of those teachers who was the first to pull in the parking lot each morning and the last to leave. I know according to The New York Times, 80% of the population has a desire to write a book, but honestly, I was too busy with school. I laughed and told a reporter once, “I didn’t have time to write the first paragraph much less a whole book!”

So what changed your heart and mind?

Having gone through several devastating events in my life, I felt a strong calling to speak to women. With my hectic teacher schedule, I would speak periodically, but I simply did not have time to speak on a Sarah Meece A Dose of Hope book coverregular basis. However, in 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After several weeks of chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy, my life changed. For the first time, I slowed down long enough to devote some valuable time to Bible study and prayer. It was during this period that I realized my life could be short, and I needed to be obedient to God. At the end of that school year, I retired from education and created Sarah Meece Inspiresa ministry encouraging others to deepen their relationship with God.

I think I know the answer to this question, but which came first—speaking or writing?

Speaking definitely was the catalyst which led to writing. As I began booking speaking engagements, I would often get the question, “Do you have a book?” I quickly realized that in order to be perceived as a credible speaker, I needed the word author after my name. Having always enjoyed devotional books, I decided to write, A Dose of Hope, a devotional book containing real-life, everyday situations which people could easily relate.

Since writing was not a long-life goal, was it difficult for you?

I have to tell you, God was so gracious to me during the writing process. Almost every morning when I opened my eyes, God had planted a topic in my heart. I would run to the office, type as fast as I could to capture the message which He was encouraging me to share. Of course, my first draft definitely needed Sarah Meece headshot 2work, so I spent hours and hours on the final document. Plus, I was extremely blessed with a wonderful team of people who served as my editor and proofreaders. Interestingly enough, the members on my team were all retired educators (even from different states). By the way, those former English and business teachers can be hard core! (*wink) I am forever grateful to this awesome team!

Tell us about your publishing process.

My goal wasn’t necessarily to be included on the best seller list; therefore, I decided to self publish through CreateSpace. I wanted to create a document to help people build a deeper relationship with God. When I speak, I always have the book available on my product table. In addition, A Dose of Hope is available on Amazon.com. Thus far, I have been extremely pleased with the success of the book.

I know you had a great book launch for A Dose of Hope. Please tell us how you did that.

The book launch was fabulous! And I truly believe the secret to a great book launch is forming a book launch committee. I asked six friends—all from different walks of life and from different social circles—to assist with the book launch. We meet once a week for about six weeks prior to the launch where we decided everything from decorations and food to publicity and giveaways. Committee members Sarah Meece Book Launch--Celebration Teamdistributed invitations via social media, and the invitation was included in the local newspaper. The launch was held on December 3rd, at a local country club, and approximately 300 people attended the launch.  [Note to self:  Next time, sign some books in advance!] I simply cannot say enough; it was the perfect evening! Early December ended up being a great time for a book launch because many people purchased multiple copies of A Dose of Hope to give as Christmas presents to friends and family.

Do you have any new adventures in the near future?

Yes, I have all kinds of new and exciting things happening in the ministry! On the speaking front, I am joining two other speakers and forming The Hope Tour. We just did our soft launch this past weekend in Middletown, Ohio. Our mission is to spread hope to women across the country. Plus, I already have several events scheduled for 2015, including speaking at two major breast cancer events. And, on the writing front, I am in the process of writing my second book, A Dose of Peace.  I would sincerely appreciate your prayers in all of these endeavors.

Sarah, thank you for being with us and sharing your heart today. I hope readers will learn more about you and your powerful, amazing story! Readers, I know you’re going to want to have a copy of Sarah’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to the Kindle version of A Dose of Hope and the paperback version of A Dose of Hope.

Sarah Meece headshot 3Bio: Sarah Meece is not only a former educator and successful business woman, she is also a motivator, a leader, and most importantly, a survivor with an incredible story. For over 30 years, she has been reaching out to both students and adults as a strong witness and Christian role model. Traveling extensively, she has addressed a variety of audiences with her inspirational messages.

During her career in education, she received numerous awards including being named the recipient of the Milken Family Foundation National Teacher of the Year Award, Outstanding Young Women in America Award, and the Ashland Oil Golden Apple Achievement Award. Since retiring from secondary education, her heart for God has led her to devote her time and energy to speaking about persevering through life’s most difficult storms.

Today, her main love and focus is on her family — her wonderful husband, Curry, their four children, and two grandchildren. You can visit Sarah and find out more about her speaking and writing ministry at her website: SarahMeece.com.

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vonda teaching

And Who Won a Free Writing Workshop from My Store?

The winner is Jeanne Doyon! Congratulations, Jeanne! Please go to my online store, click on Downloadable Writer’s Workshops, and decide which one you want. Then contact me with your choice and I’ll send it right out to you. Hope you enjoy it!

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Thank you for joining me again today. I hope you’ll be back on Friday as we look at His Word!

Blessings,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Waiting Before Working

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Okay, I admit it. I’m hardheaded, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Like when I first began my writing journey.

I was hardheaded enough to believe that editors were wrong and that I did have something worthwhile to say, even though I’d been writing for years and had nothing to show for it. After seven years and 63 rejections, I finally received an acceptance–I was a published writer! Since most writers receive 5-10 rejections and quit, I determined that hardheadedness was a real blessing for me as a writer.

But then there are the other times.

I want you to know that most I mornings I do start the day with the Lord. After all, I know that’s the best way to set the day’s course by His course.

But sometimes I’m too hardheaded to do what I know I should. On those days, I tell myself I just don’t have time.

Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with Jesus. There is nothing like starting my day with my Bible, my coffee, and my Lord. But with book deadlines, caregiving responsibilities, and a demanding speaking and ministry schedule, my hardheadedness sometimes convinces me that I just can’t stop and wait on Him.

I had such a day last week at the Christian Communicators Conference, where I was investing in the lives of women who are called to a speaking ministry. It was Friday morning, one of the most jam-packed days, and I’d had a short night of sleep. After getting a late start, I mentally rescheduled my quiet time to the evening and concentrated on my early morning to-do list.

The day went well, but it was late that night when I finally turned to the day’s devotion. My heart was broken by what I read. It was as if Sarah Young had watched me that morning as I put my time with Christ on hold. She called “waiting before working” an act of faith and ended with the promise that when we turn to Jesus for guidance, He enables us to do less, but accomplish more. I confessed the mismanagement of my priorities and belatedly waited on the Lord.

In order to be best prepared for whatever lies ahead, I need to commit each day to waiting before working. Looking at my to-do list through human eyes it’s easy to become hardheaded, thinking that I know more than my Father.

But by putting my waiting before my working, I give Him the honor He deserves and open myself up to His power. I may do less than I thought it required, but accomplish more that He has planned for me.

And even I’m not too hardheaded to see the blessing in that.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 NIV

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Conferences, Announcements, & Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

newspapersYep, it’s that time again…Time to help you get published, find a conference and maybe even win Jo Ann’s book!

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Here are this month’s writing opportunities, compiled just for you!

1.  Vista, Light for the World, and Book submission guidelines from the Wesleyan Church

2.  Jeanne Doyon is looking for Guest Bloggers. Deadline May 1. Click here for guidelines: WANTED Guest Bloggers from Jeanne Doyon

3.  Weekly Christian Flash Fiction Writing Contest by Pastor and writer Charles W. Short

4.  Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is accepting submissions February 16 to March 2, 2014. $50,000 Grand Prize!

5.  Castle Gate Press, a new publisher, is looking for submissions with a Christian worldview

6.  Appleseeds Magazine for Kids (Cricket – parent company) is looking for submissions appropriate for kids 6-9

7.  Free Spirit Publishing accepts non-fiction book and resources on character building, self-esteem, service-building, civics education, and more for children and teens

8.  Dog Fancy Magazine writers guidelines. One of our Christian Writer’s Den friends just had an article published in this magazine!

9.  Dollar Stretcher Publications writers guidelines

10. Just 4 Kids Magazine writers guidelines

11. Writer’s Digest Magazine submission guidelines. This is the magazine I insulted Steven James and embarrassed myself about. (And Steven James still likes me, I think!)

12. The Writer Magazine submission guidelines. As far as I know, I haven’t insulted anyone with this magazine. :-)

Well, friends, that should keep you busy for a while. Be sure to let us know if you find success through the writing opps. I sure encourages me to keep working at finding them for you!

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Upcoming Conferences Black and White ladies at BRMCWC2010

We know conferences are THE BEST way to get your training and possibly meet editors and agents, too! So here are the conferences I know about. Feel free to Contact Me with any you’d like for me to add!

1. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: February 21-23, New York

2.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 21-23, 2014, Asheville, NC

3.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 26-March 2, 2014, Leesburg, FL (I’m teaching there and would love to see you!)

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 8, 2014, Memphis, TN

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-15, 2014, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Idahope Writers: March 14-15, 2014, Meridian, ID

7.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

8.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

9.  Festival of Faith and Writing: April 10-12, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

10. Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop: April 10-12, 2014, Dayton, OH

11. Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 25-26, 2014, Santa Ana, CA

12. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 14-17, Estes Park, CO

13. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

14. Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival: June 14, 2014, York, SC

15. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 17-21, Grove City, PA

16. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL (I’ll be there co-directing the Teen Intern Program again and would love to see you there!)

17. Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (Registration now open! Hope to see you there!)

18. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 10-11, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

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christian-communicators-promo-cove-2014Registration is Now Open for The Christian Communicators Conference for Speakers

Ladies, if you feel called to speak, you don’t want to miss the Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Carolyn Knefely and I would love to see you there!

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more…

By limiting the conference to about 30 ladies, you receive more!

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women . . . but you’ll be embraced by thirty who will become lifelong friends
  • You won’t experience long lines for dinner . . . but you’ll have long conversations over dessert
  • You won’t need change for vending machines . . . but shared stories at afternoon tea can change your life

Come and learn in a small, intimate setting . . .
then go out and change a great big world

Check out the Christian Communicators Conference registration details here. But don’t delay, with only 30 spots, we fill up quickly!Print

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I’m Looking for Teens 16yo-18yo Who are Interested in the Media Arts!

I’m honored to again be a co-director of The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival Teen Intern Program at this year’s conference, July 11-15, 2014 in Orlando.

If you know a teen interested in acting, directing, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, or anything else related to the media arts, please send them to the Gideon Intern Page for details and application. But they must hurry–Deadline for applications is April 1.

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Jo Ann Fore book coverAnd Finally…Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

My goodness, I can tell you loved Jo Ann, her book, and her interview! That was one of the highest number of responses ever received. Thank you for your support and encouragement. And now, the winner is…drumroll please…

…Kimberly Ruedger-Wheatfill!

Congratulations, Kimberly! Just Contact Me with your snail mail address and Jo Ann will have your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Jo Ann’s amazing book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference.

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Okay, friends, that does it for today’s post. Yes, I know it was longer than usual, but that’s because I had so much good stuff to share with you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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